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East Kootenay under flood watch, high flows forecasted in West Kootenay

Spring melt, forecasted rain pushing Kootenay waterways to higher stream flows
Areas in the southern interior of British Columbia are under flood watch (orange) or high streamflow advisory (yellow). Photo courtesy River Forecast Centre.

A flood watch has been issued for the East Kootenay region, as modelling indicates high river flows and flood risks on Monday and Tuesday, according to the River Forecast Centre.

A number of rivers are at or approaching two-year return period flows, such as the Elk River near Fernie, Bull River southeast of Cranbrook and Kootenay River at Ft. Steele.

“Current hydrologic modelling is indicating risks for flooding over the Monday and Tuesday period, particularly in the East Kootenay region,” reads a bulletin from the River Forecast Centre. “Flows in the 5-year to 10-year return period range are likely, with flows in the 20-year range or higher being possible.”

A high streamflow advisory has also been issued for Upper Columbia waterways, including the Kicking Horse River, Illecillewaet River and tributaries around Invermere, Radium, Golden and Revelstoke.

In the West Kootenay, a high streamflow advisory was also issued for Kaslo River below Kemp Creek, Slocan River near Crescent Valley and tributaries around Nelson and Creston.

While the spring melt is a factor, so too is forecasted rain in the region.

On Sunday (June 12), Environment Canada a special weather statement for the southern interior region, including the Kootenays, warning of prolonged rainfall.

Forecasted rainfall is expected at 30-50 millimetres from Sunday evening through to Tuesday.

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Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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